UTEP Department of Art For-Credit Internship Policy
The Department of Art encourages internship opportunities for our students; we believe they can provide a rewarding experience for both student and employer. Furthermore, we believe these opportunities reflect the University’s mission as part of our community.
For graphic design students, Graphic Design 4356, Internship, is a for-credit, three-hour course, available on request for qualified advanced graphic design students. This course can be a door opener—the first step toward a successful career. Our students have worked for design studios, advertising agencies, in-house art/design/marketing offices, publishers, television studios, museums, printers, and more, both within and outside of El Paso. In so doing, they have gained priceless, real world experience, hands-on training, and keen insight into the challenges and opportunities of the design industry. So many employers have been impressed with the caliber of our students that internships frequently turn into jobs.
To qualify, internships must represent a genuine learning experience. They must adhere to University policy and the U. S. Department of Labor guidelines. In addition, the Department of Art has established the following criteria for students and employers:
- Students must work in a studio setting under the supervision of a qualified mentor, such as a senior designer, art director, design/art project manager, or other design/art professional.
- Work performed must be relevant to graphic design/other art discipline in that student's major or minor course of study and have a creative component. While we don’t expect the intern’s work to be executed, our students are expected to do the same tasks required of a practicing designer/artist, such as layout, illustration, branding design, web design, etc. (In fact, many employers have used actual student work for client presentations, strategy sessions, publication and more).
- The course may be offered during registration, and no later than the end of late registration, for the fall and spring semesters. By special arrangement, internships may be available during the summer for credit taken in the fall semester. Regrettably, we cannot provide for-credit internships in the middle of the semester.
- Students are expected to perform at least 96 hours of on-site service, at a rate of no more than 18 hours per week. Students may work for more than the required 96-hour minimum if they wish. In addition, students are required to meet with the instructor on a regular basis.
- Students are required to keep a log or timesheet detailing their activities. This document must be signed by the employer/supervisor and presented during the scheduled meetings with the instructor.
- At the conclusion of the internship, the student will present a portfolio of work done under the employer’s supervision.
- The employer/supervisor and the instructor should be available for contact during the internship period; if possible, the instructor should visit the workplace and meet the supervisor. To determine the final grade, the instructor must consult with the employer at the conclusion of the internship.
- For graphic design students, a candidate for internship must have an accumulated grade point average of 3.2, have passed Graphic Design 5 with a grade of C or better, and be enrolled as a full-time student. All other fine art students follow a different criteria as must be determined in advance by their instructor.
The above criteria may be waived only at the discretion of the instructor or Department Chairperson.
We’re proud of our students. Over the years, our interns have established a well-deserved record of success in the industry—success that has followed them throughout their careers in El Paso, throughout the United States, and in many cases, internationally. If you would like to learn more, please contact the UTEP Department of Art at firstname.lastname@example.org.